Who We Are
The CSG is a student organization open to all students. Our members range from those who are preparing for a career in the wide field of security, to those who are pursuing other careers in Computer Science and related fields but would like to know more about matters of security. There are no membership dues or other costs of membership, and we welcome anyone who is interested in computer security.
Why We Are Here
Some of our members are passionate and dedicated to the field of security and are set to make that their area of expertise in their career, while others are interested in security and are seeking to have security be a skill or area of knowledge which augments their ability to work in their chosen field of computer science. We believe that security cannot be created or enforced by only a small number of people; it is something that requires awareness and consideration from everyone involved. Thus, whether one’s job is security or not, having some level of awareness and knowledge of the issues of security and what can compromise it is essential for any group or organization to create and maintain a secure environment.
What We Do
As we are based as a student organization at a university, we are most active during the Fall and Spring when most members are present and available, though we have some activities over the summer as well. During the Fall and Spring semesters we hold regular meetings which take a presentation-based format. Many presentations are given by group members on a peer-to-peer basis over what they know, have learned, or are working on. We also welcome guest speakers from companies in related fields and other areas of the university. A growing focus of our regular activities have been our Open-Lab sessions which are longer than our other meetings, and are a more flexible and open environment where members can work together or solo on expanding their knowledge, work on various security challenges to sharpen skills, or discuss matters of mutual interest with other members. Our other main activities are competing as a team in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions held by various other universities and companies worldwide (more details below).
These competitions are often held online so we are able to compete as a team from our lab on the UTD campus regardless of where the competition is hosted. These competitions allow us to test our skills and knowledge by working to solve challenges posed by the creators of each competition. Some competitions hold their prequalification rounds online, and the top teams are then invited to attend the final rounds (often with travel expenses paid by the host) with the possibility of paid awards for the top finalists in the final rounds. These competitions are a great means of gaining hands-on experience in a wide area of topics that change year-to-year based on ongoing developments in the art of security.
Common Topics of Interest
These are topics which are commonly of interest to members of our group, many of which also appear as topics of CTF problems (‘[CTF]’ indicates which ones are most common to CTFs).
- Network Security
- Forensics [CTF]
- Web Application Security [CTF]
- Binary Reverse Engineering [CTF]
- Binary Exploitation [CTF]
- Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment
- Cryptography [CTF]
- Incident Response